Graduation exercises done…various topics

Grading done, graduation exercises done. So, aside from some “less than pleasant” family obligations I should enjoy a pleasant month.

Sexual Harassment We are seeing lots of accusations and resignations..and in one case, a female was the accused.

I hope that we haven’t arrived at a place where an accusation is sufficient to tank someone’s career.

Example: 20+ years ago, I had a faculty friend who liked me well enough to sit in on one of my classes. She talked about a bunch of stuff..and in a conversation she had mentioned that she felt weak from a religious fast. I replied “yes, you are looking a bit thin”.

Later she asked me to come into her office. I did..she asked “do you know why I want to talk to you?” I responded “I guess it is about the course”. She went on to tell me that my remark was sexual harassment. I was astonished. I said “I meant…” and she said “I KNOW what you meant..” ..Eventually I had enough. She tried to shake my hand but I refused..and I broke off all unnecessary contact with her. No, no charges were ever filed and no official complaint was ever made.

By the way, she is a respected scholar (by our standards) but her personality…not as well respected. turns out that she HAD suffered some genuine sexual harassment; she was asked out by a senior faculty member; when she declined he told her that the tenure decision, in part, depended on her being “collegial”. So, it isn’t as if she always “cried wolf”.

So sometimes, people can honestly interpret the same situation differently:

So people who think that the issue can be resolved by hashtags, “zero tolerance”, “non-negotiable demands” and the like are delusional; the situation is way more complicated than that.

Republican Tax Scam Yes, they did fix some of the hits to higher education, but it is still a big giveaway to the wealthiest and will probably explode the deficit…which will lead to them cutting Social Security, Medicare and safety net programs because “we are broke”.

Oh, it is a wildly unpopular bill and might cost many of them their seats in 2018..but will also lead to some cushy K-Street jobs and the like. So the unpopularity of the bill bothers them not at all.

Bradley Basketball We saw the men demolish Arkansas Little Rock 86-46 despite clearing the bench.

They won big at Chicago State, though Chicago State got blistered by Northwestern 96-31..trailed 55-8 at the half. Still, the team is winning.

The women lost big at Green Bay, but Green Bay is ranked no. 21 for a reason.

Workout notes: yesterday, routine weight session. Usual PT, 5 sets of 10 pull ups, bench: 10 x 135, 6 x 185, 5 x 185, incline: 10 x 135. Military: dumbbell: 10 x 50, 10 x 45, machine: 10 x 80 (each arm), 3 sets of 10 x 110.

Today: easy 4.2 mile run prior to graduation exercises; clear and crisp.


December 17, 2017 Posted by | basketball, economy, education, political/social, politics, republicans, running, social/political, walking, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

still grading

Not quite done with finals…still addition, grade calculation…should be done in 3-4 more hours.

Lots to talk about later…

Workout notes: yesterday, weights plus 2 miles plus (outer lane) in 28:40 on the track); usual pt,
pull ups: 5 sets of 10; ok
dumbbell bench press: 10 x 70 (2 sets)
incline bench press: 3 x 150, 10 x 135
military press (dumbbells) 10 x 50, 10 x 45 (standing)
military press (machine) 10 x 110
rows: 2 sets of 10 x 70 dumbbell (each arm), 10 x 110 machine.

Today: 4.3 mile run..had to stop due to unusual lower GI issues. (rare for me)

Selected photos from the ultra (36 hours of Jack) They show the start (navigating uneven terrain..there is where the bent knee is), mile 3, and the finish.

December 15, 2017 Posted by | marathons, running, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

Hoping against hope in the Alabama Senate special election

Yes, state polls are more volatile than national polls, and I remember the 1990 Texas election where Ann Richards came from behind to upset Clayton Williams (after many Williams gaffes). And I remember the 2010 Illinois governor election when Pat Quinn defied the polls and narrowly, narrowly, held off Bill Brady.

And so it is in Alabama, where Roy Moore leads in most polls against Democrat Doug Jones, though the latest Fox News polls has Jones leading by 10.

My best guess, upon seeing the data, is that Moore has about a 3-5 point lead. But again, the data is volatile and I made similar incorrect predictions in the two aforementioned governors races.

Personal note: final exams begin for me an hour or so. I’ll be grading, grading, grading away.

Workout notes Weights only. My body weight is about the same (206 with shoes and clothes; that is about 203 without) and though I was tired, it did NOT show up on what I could lift.

usual PT, pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (went fine), bench: 10 x 135, 6 x 185 (strong), 10 x 170, incline: 10 x 135, military: 10 x 50 standing, 10 x 45 standing (dumbbells), 10 x 90 (180 total) machine, rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50 single arm, 10 x 110 machine. Some light stretching (“down dog, up dog”) for the hamstrings.

I did the “split sleep” with an awake time at 1 I usually do when I am tired.

December 11, 2017 Posted by | politics, politics/social, weight training | Leave a comment

Onward to finals

Today: 4 mile walk (Cornstalk classic) after weights; later yoga with Ms. Vickie.

usual PT, pull ups (5 sets of 10; later ones were easier), bench: 10 x 135, 6 x 185 (couldn’t try for 7), 10 x 170, incline: 10 x 135, military: 15 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 50 standing, 10 x 90 machine. Rows: 2 sets of 10 x 55 dumbbell, 10 x 110 machine.

Ah…now to finish up writing up exams. I’ve got time.

December 5, 2017 Posted by | Personal Issues, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

Onward through interesting times (all over the place)

Workout notes 3 mile walk..but first came weights; usual PT stuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10: went really well…USUALLY that means I’ve gotten lighter), bench press: 10 x 135 , 7 x 185 (strict, hips in about a decade): usually that means I’ve gotten heavier? incline: 7 x 150 (strict hips), 10 x 135, military 15 x 55 dumbbell, seated, supported, 10 x 50, 10 x 45, rows: 2 sets of 10 x 55 each arm, 10 x 50.

Walk: went fine; to lower Bradley park.

I am not sure about the weight room; why did pull ups get stronger but the bench too?

Political ramblings:
Two big things: the tax bill in the Senate that sure looks as if it will pass (Corker is the only R “no”). Why the rush?

Oh Flynn pleading guilty: will this lead anywhere? My guess: “yes”, but we’ll see. Will the R’s throw Trump under the bus if they get their tax bill? Remember that even if we somehow get rid of Trump, the Republicans are still delusional loose cannons.

Or will Trump get us into some war as a diversion?

There is just so much going on. Other thoughts:

The Republicans are desperate to please their upper income donors. So they don’t care about “the deficit” right now. But when it soars..THEN they will “care” and they will cut safety net programs and “entitlements”. Such programs are reasonably they will need some excuse to attack them.

That is all this really is. We need to win back Congress and defeat Trump in 2020 (and no, he will probably not have been removed from office by then…though if you were to believe my twitter feed, his being gone is imminent 🙂 )

Yes, Trump’s approval ratings are horrible (about 40 percent) but remember that some approve of Trump’s POLICY PROPOSALS but not tone, and others are angry that he doesn’t have that wall built as yet.

December 1, 2017 Posted by | Democrats, politics, politics/social, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

“Believe the woman”: to the degree that you believe any human

I’ve been hearing about all of those allegations of sexual misconduct by celebrity men.
Now, for sure, some were made up for political gain and some (e. g. the Al Franken “sloppy hug” allegations) I find, well, questionable.

Yes, and I’ve said this before, people sometimes lie and sometimes people interpret facts differently and have divergent, but honestly believed memories:

But as far as the allegations

Hmmm, ok, the Franken “boob grope on the other side of the flak jacket” photo looks bad but come on, the other stuff is basically hugs that may have brushed a butt (yes, that has happened to both directions)? That compares to a 37 year old hitting on 14 year old girl?

That being said: Yes, I have friends that have told me about their pasts. I believe them, but it is because I see them as trustworthy human beings, and not just because they are women.

Workout notes weights this morning (pull ups, 5 sets of 10, went well, incline: 10 x 135, 4 x 160, 6 x 150, fixed hips, military: 10 x 50 standing (thick handles), 10 x 50 regular handles, 10 x 45, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine, track run: 10:42/9:19 for 20:01, then yoga with T in the evening.

November 30, 2017 Posted by | political/social, running, social/political, weight training | | Leave a comment

Workout catch up post (way late)

I’ve been busy (on the go) but I’ve made time to work out.

Saturday: 10.14 mile walk in 2:26.

It felt great.

Sunday: off

Monday: weights plus a 2 mile treadmill run (11:16/9:20) increased the pace at mile 1…out of gas.
weights: rotator cuff, pt, pull ups (5 sets of 10: good, weights: bench: 10 x 135, 6 x 185 (strong), 10 x 170, incline: 10 x 135, military: 10 x 50 standing dumbbell, 10 x 45 dumbbell, 10 x 90 (each arm) machine, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine. Yoga in the evening.

Today: brisk 10K walk in Cornstalk.

Overall: I haven’t been able to get below 200 lbs. I am stuck at 200-205 and my waist is now a 36. But: pull ups are getting good again (usually I struggle with pull ups when I gain..that has not been the case this time)..not sure as to what is going on.

November 28, 2017 Posted by | running, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

My Thanksgiving 2017 post..

TL;DR rambling to follow.

My feelings about Thanksgiving continue to evolve.

1. Eating: yes, I can understand why stuffing yourself might have had an appeal, back in the days of scarcity. But I live in an affluent society and I can overeat at any time. And frankly, the feeling of an overfull belly just has no appeal. I just don’t want to. Now, there are some foods that I might eat that I don’t normally (e. g. stuffing).

2. Time off of work: yes, I do like that, though I spent some of the holiday working (trying to make sense of a calculation that I was doing improperly; I enjoyed having the time to focus). And I plan on enjoying two “live” football games this weekend, though “my” teams are likely to lose.

3. Socializing: well, both of my parents are dead, and my daughter lives a healthy distance away, and she really didn’t “grow up” here, so to speak (I was the non-custodial parent). So, aside from my daughter, I really have no family (aside from a few cousins, a couple who I really, really like but don’t see much of due to distance). The local family is my wife’s. And….she invites her mentally retarded adult nephew to stay with us. So…. well, let’s just say that I got what I wanted two days ago; 6 blessed hours with great company, 4 of those while running/walking. That made the break worth it. 🙂

Side note: I think that smart phones are the old “photo albums”; we had a good old time showing each other our photos on our phones.

But whether I like someone or not has little to do with genetic distance or the genetic distance to others. So, for me, this is more or less a duty.

We ate at a Chinese restaurant (which offered turkey and stuffing) yesterday and we noticed an elderly woman (who appeared to be reasonably well off) who was eating by herself. My wife seemed to feel bad for her, but to me, I *thought* that I saw the joy of “finally, some me time” to her face (possibly caretaking someone else?) Solitude is not bad, when it is optional or a treat.
But alas, loneliness is real and a genuine health risk.

Where I am different is that my remedy for loneliness is the companionship with a small number of people (say, 1-3 others). I love “couples dates” or “1-on-1” outings.

4. Personal prejudice: yes, I have these; I really do not like underachievement. Now, of course, there are many reasons for this, not all of which are under the control of the person. And, some whose company that I now LOVE to hang out with had periods in their life where they weren’t doing so well for one reason or another (abuse, poverty, sickness, among other things). So, things change, and sometimes they change for the better. Looking down on someone while they are down never helps anything, and if I want to enhance my self esteem, I should improve myself so I can have something to feel good about.

5. Others: I do know that there is some pain during the holidays (dead family, divorces, acrimonious family splits, genuine loneliness for some). And there are those on duty (e. g., when I was in the Navy, or when my dad was in the Air Force, first responders, etc.).

Workout notes: yesterday, slow 4.2 mile run on the Cornstalk classic course. Today: weights: rotator cuff, 5 sets of 10 pull ups (first 3-4 went very well), bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 185 (wanted 6, didn’t risk it in the empty gym), 2 x 170, 1 x 170 (not sure what happened here), incline: 10 x 135, military (standing dumbbell) 10 x 50, 10 x 45, 20 x 40, dumbbell rows: 2 sets of 10 x 50, 10 x 60 (single arm).

November 24, 2017 Posted by | family, Friends, social/political, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

More about sexual harassment, accusations and all that.

White Nationalism That is a harsh charge, but some careful parsing of election data showed that Trump’s support really didn’t come from those with economic anxiety but rather from those who missed “the way things were”. The conclusion:

Nevertheless, a majority of white voters backed a candidate who assured them that they will never have to share this country with people of color as equals. That is the reality that all Americans will have to deal with, and one that most of the country has yet to confront.

Yet at its core, white nationalism has and always will be a hustle, a con, a fraud that cannot deliver the broad-based prosperity it promises, not even to most white people. Perhaps the most persuasive argument against Trumpist nationalism is not one its opponents can make in a way that his supporters will believe. But the failure of Trump’s promises to white America may yet show that both the fruit and the tree are poison.

Now I hasten to point out that a society does need some shared “values” to get along (e. g. loud music in a neighborhood at night…I don’t like it be it country and western, rap, rock, or even classical) But just think about the people blowing a gasket because some NFL players kneel during the National Anthem? Who are those players hurting?

Tax Plan Orin Hatch doesn’t take kindly to being questioned. But his tax plan DOES harm..well, people who started where he did and favors the wealthy. How would he have done had his law scholarship been considered taxable income? There are times when I think that being comfortable with hypocrisy is a prerequisite for being a conservative.

Sexual Harassment: Sexism is a part of that, and Kareem Abdul Jabbar wrote another nice column about a male “jock” subculture. It is very thoughtful, IMHO. It concludes:

HBO’s True Detective got to the heart of the problem when Ani Bezzerides (Rachel McAdams) is asked why she carries so many knives and she explains, “Could you do this job if everyone you encounter could physically overpower you? … The fundamental difference between the sexes is that one of them can kill the other with their bare hands.” Nature may have created a physical imbalance, but society’s job is to not allow those with advantages — physical, financial or political — to exploit others.

Craziness: there is a poll about how Republicans and Democrats react to “accusations” of sexual harassment:

Yes, I am with the Republicans here. Accusations are one thing; credible evidence is something else altogether. And there are degrees: say, a drunken butt slap vs. an adult preying on 14 year olds. So, yes, if my candidate had been accused, I would still CONSIDER voting for them (that is how the question is phrased). Of course, when I mentioned that, some SJW “dumbsplained” me. They rarely disappoint.

But, there ARE voices of reason out there, I am happy to say.

Workout notes: yesterday, standard weights (PT, pull ups (5 sets of 10, went well), bench: 10 x 135, 6 x 185, 10 x 170 (good), incline: 10 x 135, military: 10 x 50 standing (thick dumbbells), 2 sets of 10 x 45, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine. Today: “quicker” 10K walk outside. Went ok.

November 22, 2017 Posted by | political/social, social/political, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Sexual Harassment allegations, training and effectiveness…

Yes, sexual harassment has been in the news (sometimes to the exclusion of the truly dreadful GOP tax bills that the Republicans are trying to push through)

Of course, I was dismayed to see the allegation against Al Franken. But then came another of a different type:

On the heels of Tweeden’s disturbing allegations, however, another woman came forward claiming that she too had been “stalked and harassed” by Franken. Melanie Morgan teased her accusation with a Tweet, and then directed curious readers to her website. On her website, she described how Franken called her more than once because he disagreed with how she was discussing a policy issue on the radio.

Even giving Morgan the extremely generous benefit of the doubt, it’s hard to pretend what she alleges Franken did is the same thing as what Tweeden’s picture shows Franken actually doing. Nor is what Tweeden’s picture shows, horrible as it is, the same as what somebody like Roger Ailes or Bill Clinton did.

Which gets to a problem. Right now, the court of public opinion is faced with the awkward task of assigning degrees of severity to sexual misconduct, because, while they all cause harm, they don’t all cause the same amount of harm and thus don’t merit the same punishment. Furthermore, punishment varies by the power the offender wields. A senator, for example, should have a much higher moral threshold than, say, a comedian. Writing in The New Yorker this week, Masha Gessen treads lightly in making this point, warning that the #MeToo moment could devolve into “sex panic” if we’re not careful. “The distinctions between rape and coercion are meaningful, in the way it is meaningful to distinguish between, say, murder and battery,” Gessen writes.

One’s political ideology or past advocacy doesn’t mean it’s impossible for a person to be victimized by somebody with opposing ideology. But if what she’s written is all she’s got, Morgan’s account reeks of naked political opportunism, of weaponizing victimhood in a way that is so morally bankrupt that it threatens to derail the entire #MeToo conversation for selfish political ends.

I’ve seen a case of this when I was at the University of Texas. The two people involved did not dispute the facts: a tenured faculty member called a non-tenured faculty member to complain about a professional matter. Sex was never brought up; the sole charge of “sexual harassment” was that the tenured person was male and the non-tenured one was female…and the call was at night.

Now, unless the tenured person made a habit of hassling female members, this was not sexual harassment; if anything, it was simple douchebaggery. Not all bad behavior between men with more power/status against females with lesser power/status is sexual harassment.

So what about things like genuine groping? (I say “genuine” because the Franken photo, while disgusting, didn’t involve actual groping. She was wearing a heavy flak vest.)

I’ve seen it a few times; one time in the Navy (woman claimed that a senior enlisted goosed her while he walked past) and one time I saw an academic tickle the butt of a female in his rock and roll band as she walked by…he was married to someone else but I didn’t know their respective status (were they friends? were they “that type” of friends?).

But I know it happens and it is wrong (if not consensual). And yes, it seems sad that we need to, as a society, condemn it to reduce it. But how?

I know that standard anti-sexual harassment training is ineffective; in fact, it might well make things WORSE. I have some guesses as to why.

But as far as why men have some urge that needs to be resisted: some of the popular ideas are, in my opinion, dumb. It isn’t anything to do with “sin” or, even worse, women being “sinful” by nature. And no, I doubt it is the result of women being “sexualized” by culture. Instead, I think the urge comes from simple evolutionary pressures to mate. Men aren’t evil for “wanting to”; it just acting on the urge that is the evil. Seriously, I think some of the pressure is taken off when we just admit this “hey, you might want to, and I don’t blame you, but you don’t get to.”. I honestly think some scientific thinking about the matter helps.

Workout notes: 10K walk yesterday. Today: weights; highlights is that pull ups were easier, 10 x 135, 5 x 185 (empty gym), 10 x 170, military: couldn’t get thick dumbbells, but still 10 x 50, 2 sets of 10 x 45, also goblet squats (2 sets of 10 x 45, 10 x 50, 10 x 60 to the sill), rows (machine), etc.

November 18, 2017 Posted by | social/political, walking, weight training | , | Leave a comment